UK - 2010
Who still wants to learn languages?
"The new GCSE results show foreign languages are in severe decline – with the number of children learning French and German falling most dramatically of all. Aida Edemariam asks what this means for our universities, our economy, and the future of Britain."
Uk - 2011
More teenagers shunning foreign languages at school
Record numbers of pupils are leaving school without learning a foreign language, figures show, as the popularity of French and German slumps to a new low.
Data published by the Department for Education shows that almost 380,000 teenagers in England failed to take GCSEs in languages last summer.
The number of schoolchildren shunning the subjects between the age of 14 and 16 has more than doubled since the late 90s, it was revealed.
The drop has been particularly marked in French and German – traditionally the two most popular languages at school – with both being named among the fastest declining subjects at GCSE level last summer.
It follows a decision by Labour to make languages optional for 14-year-olds in England for the first time in 2004.
UK - 2012
French, German and Spanish entries all down this year, and headteachers say strategy to promote languages is overdue.
Entries in French declined to about 12,500 this year, and the number of candidates taking German dropped below 5,000. The number of entries for Spanish declined slightly, at 7,351 this year compared with 7,610 in 2011, although the trend over the last five years is up.
There was a modest rise in the take-up of other languages. Entries for A-level Polish rose from 844 last year to 923, and there were 3,425 entries for Mandarin, compared with 3,237 in 2011. Arabic, Japanese and Russian entries also climbed.